Overview of water resources and requirements in Egypt; the factors controlling its management and development

The Journal of Environmental studies (JES) 
Vol.II: 85-97 (2), 13 pages
Author:Ahmed 'Abd El Moniem
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Egypt covers very arid regions situated between the Sahara and Arabian deserts. It is extremely dependant on the River Nile as the country hardly has any other fresh water resources. Rainfall is very rare, except for a very small trip along the coast of the Mediterranean. Fossil groundwater is available in parts of the Western and Eastern Deserts and Sinai. The main groundwater aquifers in Egypt are generally formed in course clastic rocks (sand and gravels) and in fissured and karstified rocks (igneous and metamorphic rocks as well as limestone). Egypt’s municipal, agricultural and industrial water requirements increase with time due to the increase in population and the improvement of living standards. In order to relieve the population pressure, there is an ambitious programme to increase the inhabited area in Egypt from the present 5.5% (mostly in the Nile Valley and the Delta) to about 25% through the land reclamation schemes and encourage industrialization in new areas outside the valley and its delta. Thus, to fulfill the water requirements for the country, the integrated management and development plan has to be implemented. The most important factors controlling the development of the Egyptian water resources to meet expected demands are: 1) The excepted population growth; 2) The attitude of farmers and other population sectors; 3) The institutional scheme of water irrigation use; 4) Employment generation and development policies; 5) Land resources; 6) The land tenure system; 7) The cropping pattern; 8) The policy of the food security and 9) The cost of water and its recovery. The research article also highlights the environmental problems that related to the water resources in Egypt including water pollution and climatic changes an the drop in groundwater levels due to the over pumping in some areas and water logging due to the unsuitable irrigation system in other areas.


Water management, Egypt, Groundwater, Water resources.